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A moth flew in through the open summer window, and the moon-a-muck awoke from a light slumber from atop its cushion in the warehouse.

Feeling like a stroll on what was clearly a nice day in the world outside, it padded across the warehouse floor to where Aristophanes Brown was at work at his accounts on his difference engine before looking up at him with a hoot.

The response was a pat on the moon-a-muck’s grey head, but not a positive one. “Hello fellow, I’m rather busy at the moment…would you not rather have one of these and do some singing.”

Brown proferred a crystal, to which the creature only gave a derisive “Phooot!” before ambling off towards Carina, who was at work sewing repairs on a shawl. She just gave a wave of non-disturbance, altering the creature’s course towards Lady Alexia Laplace in the Poincare chamber.

The aristocratic mechanic was atop a ladder, fixing the vectoral psytransponder atop the Poincare Sphere.

“There’s nothing I’d like more than to have a trot outside and get away from this machine, but I can’t leave this undone. What about Aristophanes or Carina?” asked Alexia, her hair a blood auburn nest pinned atop her head.

The response was a sad hoot and a lowering of the moon-a-muck’s sad eyes.

“Oh dear. Well, I’m sure you can wait a little longer. It’s not as if you need to “empty” anything like a dog.”

“Huuuh” was all it said to this. But rather than trot back off back to its bed, the moon-a-muck looked bak to the open window.

Reflexively drilled in the need not to attract attention, it slinked quietly across to an open utility room, and found its dog mask sitting on a low table. It pushed its face snugly within, then, claws retracted to silence its approach, it made its way over the floor to the window.

Climbing up was no effort, and lit by the sun, scaling the 3 storeys vertically down to the ground was even less so with claws extended, and the moon-a-muck’s cunning and as yet unsuspected ability to vary its weight.

It knew that the normal social walk would head East along the river, but it wasn’t a very map savvy animal, and it soon ran off course, confused a little by the friendly pats of passers by. It entered narrow streets, and, occasionally frightening dogs and cats with its surprising size – nearly five feet nose to tail, took in what it could.

It could make no sense of what it saw. Houses were not all big and spacious like the warehouse, or tidy and in order like the master’s flat. Everything was close together, uncomfortable, awkward angles and falling-apartness. The moon-a-muck’s trumpet twitched, it could smell disease in the air. Unpleasant liquids flowed along the street. People not as friendly as master and mistresses pummelled at each other in doorways, pushing themselves up against each other. Some seemed to have more money, dressed in black with tall things upon their heads. They seemed rougher. Despite the smoothness of their voices.

At the end of one such road, the moon-a-muck encountered a young girl,a flower seller. Er dress was streaked with dirt, as was her face with the addition of tears. A bruise rose up above one eye, and her brown hair was stringy and tangled.

Her flowers were wilted, dead, dying daffodils and tulips. A little beret was empty of money save coins of the dullest metal and smallest denominations. The moon-a-muck looked at her sadly. “Hoo-hee?” it asked. In response she reached up and stroked its head with a grey hand.

Then, as hand moved through silver-ash fur, the moon-a-muck was struck with its concept of an idea. It looked around, then spotted what it required spilling from a sack nearby. It pottled off, slipped off its muzzle, and returned with several lumps arrnaged around its trumpet.

Then, as the child looked wild eyed, the moon-a-muck dropped the lumps of coal on the slimy cobbles. It then sucked them up, hooting and hee-ing as it did so.

Then it sang. Sang not to the young girl, but to her worthless, ragged, dead-on-their-stalks flowers. And as it did so, people gathered. The flowers rose themselves up on their dying greenery, their petals brightened and what was dull brown turned bright green.

There were audible gasps from the watchers.

Crocuses were purple as amethyst and tulips so stiff they could have drilled through concrete. The moon-a-muck sang on, and daffodils glowed almost as the sun, and lilies smelt as the wings of an angel.

When every plant looked like it had come from The Garden of Eden, the creature ceased its song and backed away, giving the girl a cheery “Hoo-hoo”.

The moon-a-muck went un-nticed, as people crowded in to buy flowers as glorious as the wold had ever seen.

Copyright Mulberry Lightning 17.03.15

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